Episode 3 : Magnums and Pyrotechnics

Getting to where we are now has involved more ups and downs that your average week on the slopes. So how exactly did we get here?

During our first season we wrote a weekly ski blog about our experiences, mainly to keep family and friends up-to-date. Now, for the first time, we’ve decided to share this blog with you.

We hope you enjoy reading about the adventures and the misadventures of our first winter season in the Alps.

Names have been changed to protect both the guilty and the innocent.


Episode 3 Original Posting Date: January 2013

New Year week was finally upon us. The first two weeks of the season had been extraordinarily hard work and the fabled quiet January weeks were so close we could almost reach out and touch them. Joining us for New Year week were a group of Belgian guests. They arrived in Porsches and BMW 4x4s loaded down with gear.

In addition to the usual holiday gear, they had also packed:

  • at least 8 magnums of champagne
  • various bottles of premium brand spirits
  • at least €5,000 worth of fireworks
  • several scented candles
  • their own pillows

After being initially slightly offended about the scented candles, we soon discovered that they were very lovely and that it was their first time in a catered chalet – so they didn’t really know what to expect. However, they settled into chalet life quite quickly and spent the majority of the week trying out every mountain restaurant in Courchevel and drinking champagne in the hot tub.

New Year’s Eve was quite a big deal for this group, and they got stuck into the champagne early. Slightly concerned at the pace with which the champers was being put away, we tactfully found out exactly when they planned to let off the huge pile of fireworks that were stacked up in our boot room. We had plans to see in the New Year with our fellow chalet hosts but definitely wanted to stick around for to witness the pyrotechnics if we could.

Fortunately, they were doing it early for the kids, and so after dinner we all trooped outside with a glass of champers to watch some drunken Belgians let off the sort of fireworks that it just isn’t possible for a private individual to purchase in the U.K. The fireworks were very impressive. Not, I’ll grant you, the safest thing in the world given our proximity to neighbouring chalets, but after gently persuading them to aim the fireworks in the opposite direction we felt we’d done as much as we could.

So we were treated to our own semi-professional firework display, although the general drunkenness and the use of the empty magnum of champagne as a firework holder took some of the sheen off the professionalism.

Fortunately, all was well. None of the fireworks went astray, and none of the other chalets appeared to object to the impromptu display. We thanked them profusely for the champagne and headed to our own New Year celebrations whilst the guests whooped and wobbled their way back into the chalet.

It turned out to be a great week all round. The icing on the cake? The Belgians left in the dead of night to drive home, refusing to let us get up and see them off and giving us a rare lie in on transfer day.  And on the dining room table? A much appreciated cash tip and a bucket load of leftover booze.

Happy New Year.

About Kelly Taylor

The Alpine Generation

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